Big changes planned for public health system; Schools prepare for in-person classes; Cuenca-Molleturo-Guayaquil highway closed; Wall collapses in Centro
Hola, Todos –
Clases en el aula y virtuales (Classes in classroom and virtually) – The 2021-2022 school year in the Sierra and Amazonía starts el 1/9 with 7 regulations schools need to meet for gradual return to classes. These include calculating capacity, having the support of the educational community, and planning assistance and establishing the type of transportation for students. To date, 732 schools have been approved for opening in Zone 6. At a school in Victoria del Portete, students will be on a 4/1 program with 4 days of virtual classes and 1 day for in person class so that students and teachers can have face to face instruction. Teachers are having to prepare materials for hybrid, in-person and virtual students since there is no requirement for students to attend in person. <I hope there are no stories about Ecuadorian parents tearing the masks off teachers’ faces when school starts again. Or of politicians threatening to defund schools for requiring masks.>
“Cambiaremos el modelo de atención en salud” (We will change the health care model) – The article is an interview with Vice-President Alfredo Borrero, a doctor and professor. He is in charge of directing the vaccination plan and with changing the health care model in the country. He started his term with a tour of public hospitals to learn the situation first hand, and concluded that the public health care system is “enfermo” (sick – your word for the day). He found problems with physical infrastructure, the human team, equipment, and medications; and a treatment oriented health system which he wants to change to a preventive system. He talked about getting patients medicines and noted that there are two types of pharmacies. The first is for hospitalized patients who account for 30-35% of medications and supplies dispensed. The other 65-70% do not need to receive medicines directly from the hospitals and health centers. He is looking at the possibility of signing agreements with private pharmacies.
He spoke about corruption and making the purchasing and contracting processes transparent with a citizen’s oversight committee. In answer to a question about meeting the promise of 9 million vaccinations in the 1st 100 days, he reported that as of el 19/8, 9,962,744 1st doses have been given and 6,982,184 second doses. An average of 350,000 vaccinations are being given daily, which should meet the goal. The decision whether to vaccinate children, which seems to be the trajectory, still needs to be made. He was asked about the inmunidad de rebaño (herd immunity) and talked about 70-72% to reach it. In answer to applying 3d doses, he said that they need to evaluate results in other countries, but thought it would be probable for vulnerable groups once herd immunity has been reached.
Other issues Borrero talked about were projects and goals for after the pandemic passes. <An optimist?> He talked about bringing potable water and sewers to the 40% of Ecuadorians who don’t have access to those. 80% of health pathologies should be dealt with at primary and secondary level treatment centers so the third level hospitals can become less crowded and deal with complex cases. Other issues are chronic child malnutrition, child-mother deaths, high rates of traffic accidents, cancer and rare diseases.
Colapso de estructura en el Centro Histórico (Structure collapse in the Historic Center) – There was an emergency Monday when a wall collapsed inside a property located between Luis Cordero y Gran Colombia. The fire department determined there were no people affected by the collapse, but traffic was temporarily restricted. <I’m sure those of you who walk around in the Centro Histórico could tell me exactly where it happened from the picture in the paper.>
Desmantelan un taxi en sector El Calvario de Turi (Taxi dismantled in the El Calvario sector of Turi) – A taxi that was reported stolen el 11/8 while parked in front of a house in the La Cascada barrio on the vía to Baños was found in the El Calvario sector of Turi. It was missing its tires, accessories from the tablero (dashboard – a bonus word for the day.) <And how did that part come to be called a dashboard? Don’t answer, I just Googled it.> One of the most common crimes in Cuenca is the theft of vehicle accessories.
4 días de cierres en la Cuenca-Molleturo (4 days of closures in Cuenca-Molleturo) – The highway Cuenca-Molleturo-El Empalme will be closed at km. 49 to stabilize the slope against the constant fall of material onto the highway. The closure will be hoy <martes, for those of you too lazy to look at the heading for this periodico.>, mañana y el jueves from 7-18:00 and el viernes from 7-16:00. The alternate route to get to Guayas is the high speed vía Cuenca-Azogues-Biblián which connects to the Biblían-Zhud-Cochancay highway.
And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –
Editor’s note: Jeanne’s Periodico is a translated digest of news from the Cuenca daily newspaper El Mercurio. If details, such as event dates and times, do not appear in the translation, they did not appear in the newspaper (please don’t ask her for them). The text between the carrots, or guillemets (< … >), is Jeanne’s personal opinion and not part of the news translation.